The Highland Park Soda Fountain, circa. 1912, is an anomaly. Whereas this Dallas neighborhood is rich and swanky (the TV show Dallas did location shooting here), the luncheonette, which until 2010 shared space with a working drug store, endures as a relic of bygone times. The menu includes soda fountain concoctions that would have made Archie and Veronica happy. Cherry Coke, anyone? A from-scratch cherry Coke, mind you.
Nothing I ate was extraordinary, but the ordinariness of it all was itself very wonderful. A large number of ladies at tables and counter spoon into chili. It is not a formal Texas bowl of red, for it contains beans, but it is true luncheonette chili, aka drug-store chili, a satisfying meal either by the bowl or spread across a bed of Fritos in Frito pie.
A chocolate soda is expertly concocted: first, chocolate syrup is squirted into a tall glass beaker; then a hard stream of soda gets jerked in, hitting the syrup hard enough that no spoon is needed to mix it; finally the whole foamy brew is topped with a couple of large scoops of vanilla ice cream. A long-handled spoon is provided; customers grab their own straws from a stash on the counter.